I’m no food critic, but pretty much everything I have eaten in Copenhagen this semester has exceeded my expectations. Copenhagen has a reputation for being an expensive city, which was definitely a source of worry for me before coming. While it is more expensive than I am used to, it’s not wildly so, and there are still a lot of great options for food if you want to be conservative with your spending while still enjoying the incredible food and cafe scene in the city. Below are some of my favorite spots for a meal or pastry, some of which were recommendations from past students and others random discoveries: many cafes in the city center near DIS and Copenhagen University will offer student discounts, and everything I feature below (with two exceptions) are below 100 kroner ($1 US dollar is roughly equivalent to 6 kroner).
Next Door Cafe: This cafe is easy to miss, right down the street from Saint Peters Church and only identifiable by a small purple sign right outside, but has turned out to be one of my favorite spots for a high quality snack, breakfast, or lunch at reasonable prices. The atmosphere is best described as haphazard a charming kind of way, as you eat on a tabletop full of travel tickets while trying not to dance too much to the Abba or Beyonce track they’ve got playing. There are lots of delicious options, my favorite being the pancakes. As much as I love Scandinavian style pancakes, this is absolutely the best place to get some mouthwatering American style blueberry pancakes (served with eggs and bacon for only 70 kroner, which is a steal for how filling it is! Pictured is the breakfast sandwich with bacon, eggs, and cheese on a Danish style bun.
Buzz Kaffebar: Caddy-corner from Next Door is Buzz, which is one of my favorite get work done spots. The interior is peak hygge, with the wooden floors and tables, lots of natural light and succulents, and soft indie and electronic like Oh Wonder on repeat. They have a variety of sandwiches, salads, smooties, and juices, but my favorite here is the sandwich pictured above (with chicken, lettuce, tomato, and avocado on rye) which is only 45 kroner with student discount and quite filling. Some days, they have cookies with Oreos or Daims baked in which are SO good but sell out fast. This cafe is my favorite spot to do work, and I have been here in the zone for the entire afternoon without realizing how much time has passed on a number of occasions.
Saint Peter’s Bakery (Sankt Peders Bageri): When you’re walking down Sankt Peders Stræde, you’ll probably smell this place before you see it. This is an iconic Copenhagen bakery which displays all of its pastries in the window as you pass by making it pretty much impossible not to stop in and try one. Every Wednesday, they make fresh cinnamon rolls that are so popular the word onsdagsnegl, which translates to Wednesday roll, was created just for them. They’re also only 17 kroner which is a steal for how large and delicious these are. If you’re passing by on Wednesday (or any day to be honest) this can’t be missed!
Paludan Bogcafe: Paludan is a cafe and bookstore, where you can grab a drink or food and sit by a wall full of books. It is quite large compared to other cafes with two stories, but it fills up quite quickly at lunch and dinner time. This is quite a nice place to study if it’s not too busy, with pastry offerings like the the chocolate caramel muffin served quite nicely in a mug. Paludan is also an excellent place if you want to get a nice brunch or dinner below 100 kroner (since restaurants here are usually very expensive), such as the lasagna I got when I brought my friend Lianna while she was visiting.
The Glass Market (Torvhallerne): The Glass Market is a semi-indoor market, with one half featuring pastries, sweets, and sandwiches and the other half featuring butchers, cheese, and spices. This definitely isn’t a wallet-friendly option, but it is definitely a must to walk through and pick up something to try (because it’s essentially impossible to window shop when you’re talking about food)
Hope: If being excited about superfood and açai bowls doesn’t make it obvious that I’m from Colorado, then I don’t know what will, but this is such a good place to go if you are worried you haven’t had veggies in three days or just want that healthy kick. The menu has a slate of bowls, sandwiches, and juices, and my favorite is their superfood bowl. You can choose the ingredients in your superfood bowl Chipotle style: the one above has quinoa, kale, red cabbage, roasted chickpeas (my favorite part!), avocado, chia seeds, and cashew lime dressing. To make it even better they have a 20% student discount, so the bowl comes out to 63 kroner which is cheaper then I’m used to for bowls like this in the US.
Desserthuset: Don’t despair if you feel too healthy after your superfood bowl because Desserthuset, located south of the city center in the Vesterbro neighborhood, is the original home of the freakshake. Essentially, if you had Buddy the Elf’s breakfast and took away the spaghetti, you would get a freakshake. The one I ordered was a chocolate milkshake base with There are a couple options, all of which are exploding with some kind of chocolate, caramel, or sugary concoction.
This list is by no means comprehensive: a lot of good discovery in Copenhagen has involved entering random coffee shops, so I would reccomend not being afraid to hop into any cafe that makes you interested because you almost can’t go wrong and they all have pretty amazing things to offer!